Qualifying heats at agricultural shows around the country came down to one final round of judging in front of a large crowd at the Great Yorkshire Show to crown the Pig of the Year.
The British Pig Association’s annual contest brought champion pigs to the pens in Harrogate for the competition’s final qualifier and the grand finale of an event which was visited by Princess Anne on her tour of the showground.
Four pigs made the final, a Large White male that had triumphed at Suffolk County Show, a Large Black male and winner at the Royal Ulster Show, a female Duroc that won at the Royal Cornwall Show and a male British Saddleback and winner at the Royal Norfolk Show.
Brian Mulkeen, of Wigan, who judged the competition, had a tough decision to make but picked the Duroc as his Pig of the Year. Bred and shown by Hayley Loveless, 21, of Bridport, Dorset, she was delighted to steal the limelight from her father Steve who is a prize-winning breeder of Large Whites.
Nick Kiddy, 31, of Bedfordshire, who showed a Large White in the final was the reserve champion.
Over in the sheep pens, the supreme sheep champion was a homebred Texel shearling tup shown by Mark Priestley, 23, on behalf of Charlie Boden of Mellor Hall Farm, Stockport.
Mr Boden is one of the original importers of the breed having first bred Texels in 1974 and has previously scooped the top prize at the show.
He said: “It’s unbelievable to win. It has been a very strong competition with more than 350 sheep in the Texel classes alone - the biggest ever class of Texels at the show.”